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SPCA of Texas Seizes 94 Allegedly Cruelly Treated Animals from Van Zandt County Property


(VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX; DALLAS, TX); November 21, 2018 – Yesterday, the SPCA of Texas, the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office and the Van Zandt County Constable's Office, Pct. 2, seized and the SPCA of Texas took custody of 94 allegedly cruelly treated animals from a property in Van Zandt County, Texas. The 90 live animals seized include 60 pigs, nine dogs, eight horses, five donkeys, three goats, three chickens, one turkey and one cat. Four deceased animals, including three pigs and one rabbit, were also removed.

The horses, donkeys, chickens, goats and turkey were transported to the SPCA of Texas’ Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney, the dogs and cat were transported to the SPCA of Texas' Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center and the live pigs were transported to an offsite care facility, where they will be evaluated by medical staff and cared for until a custody hearing takes place. A licensed veterinarian will perform necropsies on the deceased animals to attempt to determine the causes of death. The custody hearing will be held on November 30, 2018 at 9 a.m. at 250 E. Grove St., Canton, TX 75103, Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2, the Honorable Sandra Plaster presiding.

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The pigs, chickens and turkey were found confined to various separate pens with little to no access to food or potable water. Some of the live pigs were kept in pens containing deceased pigs. The horses were confined to pens and small pastures. Four dogs and the cat were found inside the residence, which was filled with debris, urine and feces. The remainder of the dogs were found roaming free on the property.

The animals appear to be suffering from various health conditions, including eye discharge, nasal discharge, cracked hooves and long nails, and the majority of the animals appear to be significantly underweight.

The SPCA of Texas received a complaint of suspected animal cruelty on October 15, 2018. An SPCA of Texas Animal Cruelty Investigator visited the property the next day and made contact with the animal owner. At this time, the investigator was only allowed to view the animals from the front of the property and was unaware of the conditions inside of the residence. During this visit, the investigator implemented an agreement with the animal owner to bring the animals' conditions into compliance with Texas Health and Safety Code, educating the owner on the proper feeding and care of animals.

The investigator visited the property again on November 19, 2018, and was able to gain access to the entire property. The investigator witnessed dire conditions inside of the residence and observed that the remainder of the animals' conditions were still not in compliance with Texas Health and Safety Code, which provided probable cause in order to seek a seizure warrant. The seizure warrant was obtained and executed the next day on November 20, 2018. Additional evidence was gathered that indicated the animal owner was selling some of the animals for a profit. Criminal charges are expected to be filed in this case.

To help support the SPCA of Texas and its efforts to help abused, neglected and homeless animals and to support the SPCA of Texas' other programs and services, please visit



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SPCA of Texas Voices

"I'm absolutely in LOVE with Kitty (formerly Kaleigh). I know her name isn't original at all but I just started calling her that until I could think of a name and it just stuck - it's so her! I've attached two photos - she's seriously the most beautiful kitty in the world! She loves to steal tennis balls and bones from her dog sister - she thinks she's a dog! She enjoys going for walks and car rides, snuggling with mom, bird watching, drinking from the sink, playing with her pipe cleaners and getting into mom's makeup in the mornings. I couldn't 'imagine life without her. She's the absolute best!"

Laureen Jankins

Pet Owner